Stingers 42, Vert et Or 39 (OT): Concordia wins in walk-off fashion to seal third consecutive victory

Olivier Roy sets single-game RSEQ record for passing yards with 580

Olivier Roy (left) and Vince Alessandrini (right) celebrate. Photo Credit: Caroline Marsh

The Concordia Stingers season has been dramatic thus far. It was a sunny, 18-degree day at Concordia Stadium with a little over one thousand spectators in attendance. Nobody in the crowd could have expected the game we were treated to.

Concordia pulled off two comeback wins in a row before an offensive shootout that ended in a 42-39 win for the Stingers against the Sherbrooke Vert et Or. This is the Stingers’ first three-game winning streak in football since 2014.

Concordia is now the team to beat in the Réseau Sport Étudiant Québec (RSEQ) division after three wins in a row. Sherbrooke came out of the gates full-throttle and stunned the Stingers. Five minutes into the game, the Vert et Or struck first with a touchdown on a 47-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Anthony Robichaud. After the extra point kick, Sherbrooke took the lead 7-0.

It looked as though the maroon and gold were gonna get off to another rocky start to a game despite that being their focus in practice throughout the week. 

On the kick-off immediately after the touchdown score by Sherbrooke, they recovered an onside kick and marched all the way down to the Concordia four-yard line with a chance to go up by two scores. Instead of kicking the field goal on third down, they went for the end zone but were unsuccessful. That resulted in a turnover and the Stingers regained possession. 

The Stingers withstood the early pressure by the Vert et Or and rallied behind their leader Olivier Roy. Calm and collected as always, Roy found Jeremy Murphy for a touchdown pass capping off a nine play, 106-yard drive. The game was deadlocked at seven apiece after the first quarter of play.

“We didn’t want to start that way, we had talked about it all week,” said Concordia head coach Brad Collinson. “Maybe we [put] too much emphasis on it and it got in the kids’ heads,” he added.

Sherbrooke opened the second stanza with a field goal to make it 10-7. The Stingers responded with a field goal of their own. Some time went by, after a safety, a touchback, and a field goal, the score was 14-12 in Sherbrooke’s favour. With one minute and 29 seconds to go, Stingers’ Jaylan Greaves caught a touchdown pass to regain the lead at 19-14 heading into the half-time break. That would not be the last you hear of Greaves for this game.

The maroon and gold managed to get the ball back before the break and Olivier Roy made no mistake about it. He connected with Jacob Salavil on a 50-yard touchdown pass. After the extra point by star kicker Andrew Stevens, the score was 26-14 for the Stingers. Salvail finished the game with 190 reception yards and two touchdowns. “At the end of the day, it’s a [win], we don’t care about stats,” said Salvail on his great performance.

The back and forth began in the third quarter when Anthony Rbichaud, the Vert et Or quarterback found Kevin Morin for a 50-yard touchdown pass. 50 plus yard completions were a common theme yesterday. Concordia responded with a field goal. 29-22, Stingers. Sherbrooke got a field goal of their own. 29-25, Concordia. With 1:33 to go in the third frame, Roy found Salvail for another touchdown. This one was good for 51 yards. If you have not tallied it up yet, up until this point of the game, Concordia’s superstar quarterback has quite a few passing yards and touchdowns tallied up. 36-25, Stingers.

Three minutes into the fourth quarter, Robichaud of Sherbrooke found receiver William Marchand for a touchdown reception. After a successful two-point conversion was successful, the Vert et Or trailed by only a field goal. 36-33, Concordia. 

The game was coming down to the wire yet again for this Stingers team that has a flair for the dramatic. A field goal made by Sherbrooke with a minute remaining meant overtime was in the cards for a second straight week for the maroon and gold.

Starting on Concordia’s 35-yard line in the extra frame, Sherbrooke made a field goal and put themselves up 39-36. 

The Stingers needed at least a field goal of their own to extend the game. Jersey Murphy, one of the best players in all of USports, went down early in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury. Fifth-year wide receiver Vince Alessandrini was also not dressed for Concordia with an injury of his own. The game was in the balance for the Stingers without two of their most important weapons on offense.

The Vert et Or were undisciplined in the overtime giving Concordia great field position. Olivier Roy found Jaylan Greaves for a nine-yard touchdown reception to end the game. It was a walk-off victory for this resilient Stingers team. “[Jeremy] Murphy went down… next man up. We had a task, and we conquered it,” said Greaves after the game.

In the process, Roy broke an RSEQ and a Concordia record for most passing yards in a single game. The RSEQ record has been held by Matt Connell, a McGill alumnus since 2007. The record was 557 yards. The Concordia record was held by Terrance Morsink and it stood at 516 yards since 2010. Roy downplayed the achievement saying the only thing that matters is the win. 

“It feels good, because this league has had a lot of great players and it still does,” said Roy. “Glad we could get the [win] today,” he added.

Olivier Roy has won two consecutive RSEQ offensive player of the week awards. This performance has surely secured his third consecutive week with those honours. Yesterday’s game was an instant classic, and we were treated to an all-time great performance by Olivier Roy. He has not only made RSEQ history, but he has etched himself into USports history as well with his 580 passing yards. 

Although he could not surpass Greg Vavra of Calgary who threw for 627 yards against the University of Saskatchewan in 1983, Roy’s 580 yards were good enough for second all-time in USports history. Just another day at the office for a quarterback that gets better with every passing week. 

The Concordia Stingers football team will not play this upcoming week, but they will travel to Université Laval to play the Rouge et Or in two weeks’ time. The rematch of the Stingers’ season opener is slated for Sunday Oct. 10 at 1 p.m. at the Stade Telus Université Laval. Laval has been the only team able to beat Concordia thus far.